Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Saint May 2 : St. Athanasius : Doctor : Patron of Handicapped and #Orthodoxy


St. Athanasius
BISHOP, DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH

Born:
295 at Alexandria, Egypt
Died:
2 May 373 at Alexandria, Egypt
Major Shrine:
Saint Mark Coptic Orthodox Cathedral in Cairo, Egypt
San Zaccaria, Venice, Italy
St. Athanasius, known as the "champion of orthodoxy," was  born about the year 297, in Alexandria. There is a tradition, related by Rufinus, that he first attracted the notice of Patriarch Alexander as he was playing at baptism on the seashore with other small boys. After watching young Athanasius perform the rite, the prelate called the boys to him and by questioning satisfied himself that the baptisms were valid. He then undertook to have these boys trained for the priesthood. Athanasius received an excellent education, not only in Christian doctrine, but also in Greek literature and philosophy, rhetoric, and jurisprudence. He knew the Scriptures thoroughly, and learned theology from teachers who had been confessors during the terrible persecutions under Maximian. In youth he appears to have formed friendships with several hermits of the desert, especially with the great Antony, whose biography he was to write. He was reader to the patriarch, and in 318 became his secretary. During this period he wrote a discourse, <Against the Gentiles>, in which he attempted an explanation of the Incarnation and the doctrine of the Trinity.
In Egypt two strong and often divergent forces had early appeared in the Christian Church: the conservative hierarchy in Alexandria, represented by the patriarch or bishop, and the theologians of the schools, who cared little for tradition and stood for free reasoning on theological subjects. The leaders of the latter party had sometimes been obliged, like the famous Origen, to go into exile. There were also schisms over the distribution of authority in the Church and over doctrinal questions. It was probably about the year 323 that one Arius, a priest of the church of Baucalis, began to teach that Jesus, though more than man, was not eternal God, that he was created in time by the Eternal Father, and could therefore be described only figuratively as the Son of God. The patriarch demanded a written statement of these doctrines. With only two dissenting voices the bishops condemned them as heresy, and deposed Arius, together with eleven priests and deacons of Alexandria. Arius retired to Caesarea, where he continued to propagate his ideas, enlisting the support of Bishop Eusebius of Nicomedia and other Syrian prelates. In Egypt he had already won over many of the metaphysicians, as well as Meletius, bishop of Lycopolis, and leader of a dissident group. Theology being the topic which most deeply engaged men's minds, the Arian controversy interested all classes of the population. The heretical propositions were publicized in the form of songs set to popular tunes, and these were chanted in the forums and carried by sailors from port to port.
Athanasius, as the patriarch's secretary, took a prominent part in this great Church struggle. It is probable that he even composed the encyclical letter announcing the condemnation of Arius. We know that he was present, as an attendant on Alexander, at the famous Council of Nicaea, summoned by the Emperor Constantine to determine matters of dogma. There the sentence against Arius was confirmed, and the confession of faith known as the Nicene Creed promulgated and subscribed. This gathering of churchmen influenced Athanasius deeply, and, as a modern writer has said, the rest of his life was a testimony to the divinity of the Saviour.
Shortly after this Alexander died, and Athanasius succeeded him, although he was not yet thirty. One of his first acts was a tour of his enormous diocese, which included the great monastic settlements, especially the Thebaid. He ordained a bishop for Abyssinia, where the Christian faith had recently been established. Yet in spite of his best efforts, there was strong opposition. The Meletians made common cause with the Arians, and the movement, temporarily discredited by the Council of Nicaea, was soon again rampant in Asia Minor and Egypt.
In 330 the Arian bishop of Nicomedia, Eusebius, returned from his exile and before long had persuaded the aging Constantine to write to Athanasius, bidding him readmit Arius into communion, in the interests of unity. Eusebius sent an ingratiating letter in defense of Arius, but Athanasius held to his conviction that the Church could have no communion with heretics who attacked the divinity of Christ. Then Eusebius wrote the Egyptian Meletians urging them to impeach Athanasius for personal misconduct. They brought charges that he had levied a general tribute of linen for use in his own church, and made other petty accusations. At his trial before the emperor, Athanasius cleared himself and returned in triumph to Alexandria, bearing with him a letter of approval from Constantinople.
His enemies now accused him of having murdered a Meletian  bishop named Arsenius, and summoned him to attend a council at Caesarea. Knowing that his supposed victim was in hiding, Athanasius ignored the summons. In 335 an order came from Constantinople to appear before another assembly at Tyre, packed by his opponents and presided over by an Arian who had seized the see of Antioch. Realizing that his condemnation had been decided on, Athanasius abruptly left the council and took ship for Constantinople. There he accosted the emperor as a suppliant in the street and obtained an interview. So completely did he vindicate himself that Constantine summoned the bishops to Constantinople for a retrial of the case. Then, for some unexplained reason, he suddenly changed his mind. Before the first letter arrived, a second was sent, confirming the sentence and banishing Athanasius to Treves. During this first exile, Athanasius kept in touch with his flock by letter.
In 337 Constantine died, shortly after his baptism by Eusebius of Nicomedia, and his empire was divided among his three sons, Constantine II, Constantius, and Constans. Many of the exiled prelates were now recalled. One of the first acts of Constantine II, who had sovereignty over Britain, Spain, and Gaul, was to allow Athanasius to return to his see. Two years later Constantine II was to be killed in battle in Aquileia. The patriarch reentered Alexandria in seeming triumph, but his enemies were as relentless as ever, and Eusebius of Nicomedia had completely won over the Emperor Constantius, within whose portion of the empire Alexandria was situated. New scandals were invented and Athanasius was now accused of raising sedition, promoting bloodshed, and keeping for himself corn intended for the poor. A Church council which met at Antioch again deposed him, and ratified an Arian bishop for Alexandria.
In the midst of all this confusion a Cappadocian priest named Gregory was forcibly installed as patriarch of Alexandria by the city prefect, pagans and Arians having now joined forces against the Catholics. Confronted unceasingly by acts of violence and sacrilege, Athanasius betook himself to Rome to await the hearing of his case by the Pope. A synod was summoned, but the Eusebians who had proposed it failed to appear. The result was a complete vindication of Athanasius, a verdict afterwards endorsed by the Council of Sardica. Nevertheless he found it impossible to return to Alexandria until after the death of Gregory, and then only because Emperor Constantius, on the eve of a war with Persia, thought it politic to propitiate his brother Constans by restoring Athanasius to his see.
After an absence then of eight years, Athanasius was welcomed back to Alexandria in 346, and for three or four years there was comparative peace. But the murder of Constans in 350 removed the most powerful support of orthodoxy, and Constantius, once he found himself ruler of both West and East, set himself to crush the man he now regarded as a personal enemy. At Arles in 353 he obtained the condemnation of Athanasius from a council of Gallic bishops, who seem to have been kept in ignorance of the importance of the issues. Two years later at Milan he met with more opposition from the Italian bishops, but when with his hand on his sword he gave them their choice between condemnation of Athanasius and exile, by far the greater number yielded. The few stubborn bishops were exiled, including the new Pope Liberius. He was sent into isolation in Thrace until, broken in body and spirit, he too gave his consent to the Arian decrees. Athanasius held on for another year with the support of his own clergy and people. Then one night, as he was celebrating a vigil in the church of St. Thomas, soldiers broke in. Athanasius was instantly surrounded by his people, who swept him out into the safety of darkness; but for six years thereafter he had to live in hiding. His abounding energy now expressed itself in literary composition, and to this period are ascribed his chief writings, including a <History of the Arians>, three letters to Serapion, a defense of his position to Constantius, and a treatise on the synods of Rimini and Seleucia.
The death of Constantius in 361 was followed by another shift in the situation. The new emperor, Julian, a pagan, revoked the sentences of banishment enacted by his predecessors, and Athanasius returned once again to his own city. But it was only for a few months. Julian's plans for a reconquest of the Christian world could make little headway as long as the champion of the Catholic faith ruled in Egypt; he also considered it necessary to banish Athanasius from Alexandria as "a disturber of the peace and an enemy of the gods." During this fourth exile, he seems to have explored the entire Thebaid. He was in Antinopolis when two hermits informed him of the death of Julian, who, it was later ascertained, at that moment was expiring in distant Persia, slain by an enemy's arrow.
The new emperor, Jovian, a soldier of Catholic sympathies, revoked the sentence of banishment and invited Athanasius to Antioch, to expound the doctrine of the Trinity. Jovian's reign lasted only a year, and his successor in the East, Valens, succumbed to Arian pressure in Constantinople and in May, 365, issued an order banishing again all orthodox bishops who had been exiled by Constantius and restored by his successors. Once more the worn and aged prelate was forced to flee. The ecclesiastical historian, Socrates, tells us that Athanasius hid himself this time in his father's tomb, but a better- informed writer says that he spent the months in a villa in a suburb of Alexandria. Four months later Valens revoked his edict, fearing possibly a rising of the Egyptians, who were determined to accept no other man as bishop. Joyfully they escorted him back. Athanasius had spent seventeen years in exile, but his last years were peaceful. He died in Alexandria on May 2, 373. His body was twice removed, first to Constantinople, and then to Venice.
While the theological controversies which marked this period  may seem both complex and remote, they were an important milestone in the history of the Church, Athanasius rendering an outstanding service. The statement of Christian doctrine known as the Athanasian Creed was probably composed during his life, but not actually by him. In his works there is deep spiritual feeling and understanding, and as Cardinal Newman said, he stands as "a principal instrument after the Apostles by which the sacred truths of Christianity have been conveyed and secured to the world."
PRAYER: Father, you raised up Saint Athanasius to be an outstanding defender of the truth of Christ’s divinity. By his teaching and protection may we grow in your knowledge and love. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Text Source: Lives of the Saints - Publisher John J. Crawley & Co., Inc.

#BreakingNews St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Phoenix, Arizona completely destroyed by Fire


St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Phoenix, Arizona, USA was destroyed in a fire early Wednesday, May 1, 2019. The church had almost made its 50th anniversary of establishment as a Roman Catholic parish. The fire occurred on the Feast of St. Joseph the Worker, to whom the church is dedicated.
The entire building was engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived around midnight. Over  60 firefighters were called to stop the fire.
There were no people injured by the fire and the cause is being investigated.

Fr. Reggie Carreon, the pastor, wanted to rescue items from the church but was told, 'Father, don't go, you'll die,'" Carreon explained, "They told us, 'Father you cannot do anything anymore, it's too late,'"


"Inside the church, I think we lost everything there except the walls," Carreon said. "I'm going to shed a lot of tears."


The Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix issued the following statement about the fire:

"This morning we awoke to the tragic news of the fire at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Phoenix. The Phoenix Fire Department is investigating the fire. The church building was destroyed and there were no injuries. We will have more to share as it becomes available.

We are heartbroken for the St. Joseph Catholic community and we are grateful for the bravery of the fire fighters and first responders.

There are tentative plans to celebrate Masses somewhere on the church property this weekend.

Today on this feast day of St. Joseph the Worker, we ask the community to join us in prayer."

St. Joseph's was established as a Catholic parish on Aug. 18, 1969, according to its website. Sunday Masses were first held in the cafeteria of Paradise Valley High School for about 300 families.

Ground broke for a new church on a 10-acre site on Jan. 23, 1972, with seating for 500. The campus eventually added a parish hall, meeting rooms, library and adjacent chapel.
Edited from Source: azcentral.com

Wow Miraculous Staircase built by St. Joseph in New Mexico - Mystery to Architects

 Miraculous Staircase of Saint Joseph This is the miraculous staircase of Saint Joseph at Loretto Chapel in Santa Fé, New Mexico. U.S.A.   134 years since it was built in 1878, it still confounds architects, in the physics of its construction and inexplicable design . The helix shaped spiral staircase has two complete 360° turns, stands 20 feet high up to the choir loft and has no newel (center pole) to support it . Its entire weight rests solely on its base and against the choir loft - a mystery that defies laws of gravity. it is still in use daily for over a hundred years. The risers of the 33 steps are all of the same height. It is made of an extinct wood species, it was constructed with only square wooden pegs without glue or nails. The banisters were added 10 years later in 1888 by Phillip A. Hesch at the Sisters' request. The 33 steps represent the age of Jesus Christ. The staircase has been the subject of many articles, and movies including "Unsolved Mysteries" and the 1998 television movie entitled "The Staircase".  Mother Magdalen, Mother Superior of the Sisters of Loretto, when the Chapel was completed in 1878, said there was no way to access the choir loft twenty-two feet above. Carpenters were asked to help but all concluded that access to the loft would have to be via ladder. The Sisters of Loretto made a novena to Saint Joseph, the Patron Saint of Carpenters, and on the ninth day a gray-haired man came to the convent on a donkey with a toolbox and approached Mother Magdalen. He asked if he might try to help the Sisters by building a stairway but he needed total privacy. He set to work and locked himself in the chapel for three months.



The only tools he had were a saw, a hammer, a T-square. When the staircase was completed, the carpenter disappeared without pay or thanks. The Loretto Sisters ran an advertisement in a local newspaper in search for the man but found no trace of him. But Mother Magdalen and her community of Sisters and students knew that the stairway was Saint Joseph’s answer to their fervent prayers. Many think that the humble carpenter was Saint Joseph himself. According to the annals of Mother Magdalen, the construction of the Chapel was placed under the special patronage of St. Joseph "in whose honor we communicated every Wednesday, that he might assist us." Then she adds, "Of his powerful help we have been witnesses on several occasions." At the time of sale in 1971, Our Lady of Light Chapel was deconsecrated as a Catholic Chapel. Fortunately, however, there was such an outcry from the people of Santa Fe, that the Chapel with the miraculous stairs was preserved as a national monument. 

Pope Francis says "..Jesus rejects every temptation and comes out victorious" FULL TEXT + Video

GENERAL AUDIENCE

St. Peter's Square
Wednesday, 1 May 2019

Catechesis on the "Our Father": 14. Do not abandon us to temptation

Dear brothers and sisters, good morning!

We continue in the catechesis on the "Our Father", arriving now at the penultimate invocation: "Do not abandon us to temptation" (Mt 6:13). Another version says: "Don't let us fall into temptation". The "Our Father" begins in a serene way: it makes us wish that God's great project can be accomplished among us. Then he takes a look at life, and asks us what we need every day: the "daily bread". Then the prayer turns to our interpersonal relationships, often polluted by selfishness: we ask forgiveness and we commit ourselves to give it. But it is with this penultimate invocation that our dialogue with the heavenly Father enters, so to speak, at the heart of the drama, that is, on the terrain of confrontation between our freedom and the snares of the evil one.

As is well known, the original Greek expression contained in the Gospels is difficult to render exactly, and all modern translations are somewhat limping. On one element, however, we can unanimously converge: however we understand the text, we must exclude that it is God who is the protagonist of the temptations that hang over the path of man. As if God were lurking to lay traps and pitfalls on his children. An interpretation of this kind contrasts above all with the text itself, and it is far from the image of God that Jesus revealed to us. Let us not forget: the "Our Father" begins with "Father". And a father does not make pitfalls for his children. Christians have nothing to do with an envious God, in competition with man, or who enjoys putting him to the test. These are the images of many pagan deities. We read in the Letter of James the Apostle: "No one, when tempted, should say:" I am tempted by God "; because God cannot be tempted to evil and he does not tempt anyone "(1:13). Rather the opposite: the Father is not the author of evil, no son who asks for a fish gives a snake (see Lk 11,11) - as Jesus teaches - and when evil appears in man's life, he fights against his side, so that he can be freed. A God who always fights for us, not against us. And the father! It is in this sense that we pray the "Our Father".

These two moments - the trial and the temptation - have been mysteriously present in the life of Jesus himself. In this experience the Son of God became completely our brother, in a way that almost touches the scandal. And it is precisely these Gospel passages that show us that the most difficult invocations of the "Our Father", those that close the text, have already been answered: God has not left us alone, but in Jesus he manifests himself as the "God-with-God". us ”to the extreme consequences. He is with us when he gives us life, he is with us during life, he is with us in joy, he is with us in trials, he is with us in sadness, he is with us in defeats, when we sin, but he is always with us, because he is a Father and cannot abandon us.

If we are tempted to do evil, denying fraternity with others and desiring absolute power over everything and everyone, Jesus has already fought this temptation for us: the first pages of the Gospels attest. Immediately after receiving the baptism from John, in the midst of the crowd of sinners, Jesus retires to the desert and is tempted by Satan. Thus begins the public life of Jesus, with the temptation that comes from Satan. Satan was present. Many people say: "But why talk about the devil which is an ancient thing? The devil does not exist ". But look at what the Gospel teaches you: Jesus confronted the devil, he was tempted by Satan. But Jesus rejects every temptation and comes out victorious. The Gospel of Matthew has an interesting note that closes the duel between Jesus and the Enemy: "Then the devil left him, and behold, angels came to him and served him" (4:11).
But even in the time of the supreme trial God does not leave us alone. When Jesus retires to pray in Gethsemane, his heart is invaded by an unspeakable anguish - he says to his disciples - and he experiences solitude and abandonment. Alone, with the responsibility of all the sins of the world on your shoulders; alone, with unspeakable anguish. The proof is so lacerating that something unexpected happens. Jesus never begs love for himself, yet on that night he feels his soul sad until death, and then asks for the closeness of his friends: "Stay here and watch with me" (Mt 26:38). As we know, the disciples, weighed down by a numbness caused by fear, fell asleep. In the time of agony, God asks man not to abandon him, and man instead sleeps. In the time in which man knows his trial, God instead watches. In the worst moments of our lives, in the most suffering moments, in the most distressing moments, God watches with us, God fights with us, is always close to us. Why? Because he is Father. So we started the prayer: "Our Father". And a father does not abandon his children. That night of pain of Jesus, of struggle, are the last seal of the Incarnation: God descends to find us in our abysses and in the travails that dot history.

It is our comfort in the hour of trial: to know that that valley, since Jesus crossed it, is no longer desolate, but is blessed by the presence of the Son of God. He will never abandon us!

Therefore remove from us, O God, the time of trial and temptation. But when this time comes for us, our Father, show us that we are not alone. You are the Father. Show us that Christ has already taken upon himself the weight of that cross. Show us that Jesus calls us to carry it with him, trusting in your love as a Father. Thank you.
Greetings in Various Languages:
Je suis heureux de saluer les pèlerins venus de France et d’autres pays francophones, en particulier les pèlerins Troyes, les membres de l’Aumônerie Hmong de France et ceux des Foyers de Charité, ainsi que les jeunes venus de Carcassonne, Laval, Montpellier, Paris. A l’heure de l’épreuve et de la tentation, que le Seigneur nous manifeste sa présence et qu’il nous aide à nous abandonner confiants dans l’amour du Père. Que Dieu vous bénisse !
[Sono lieto di salutare i pellegrini dalla Francia e da altri paesi francofoni, in particolare quelli di Troyes, i membri della cappellania di Hmong di Francia e quelli dei Foyer de Charité, così come i giovani di Carcassonne, Laval, Montpellier e Parigi. Nell'ora della prova e della tentazione, lasciate che il Signore vi mostri la sua presenza e vi aiuti ad abbandonarvi fiduciosi all'amore del Padre. Dio vi benedica!]
I greet the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors taking part in today’s Audience, especially those from England, Scotland, Denmark, Finland, Cameroon, Japan, India, Indonesia, Canada and the United States of America. In the joy of the Risen Christ, I invoke upon you and your families the loving mercy of God our Father. May the Lord bless you all!
[Saluto i pellegrini di lingua inglese presenti all’Udienza odierna, specialmente quelli provenienti da Inghilterra, Scozia, Danimarca, Finlandia, Camerun, Giappone, India, Indonesia, Canada e Stati Uniti d’America. Nella gioia del Cristo Risorto, invoco su di voi e sulle vostre famiglie l’amore misericordioso di Dio nostro Padre. Il Signore vi benedica!]
Herzlich grüße ich die Pilger deutscher Sprache, insbesondere die Gruppe der ständigen Diakone aus dem Bistum Augsburg in Begleitung von Weihbischof Florian Wörner. Bleiben wir immer mit dem auferstandenen Herrn vereint, dem Sieger über Sünde und Tod, damit auch wir mit der Hilfe seiner Gnade jede Versuchung und Prüfung überwinden und so in seiner Liebe wachsen können.
[Saluto cordialmente i pellegrini di lingua tedesca, in particolare il gruppo dei Diaconi permanenti della Diocesi di Augsburg, accompagnato dal Vescovo Ausiliare Mons. Florian Wörner. Teniamoci sempre uniti al Signore Risorto, vincitore sul peccato e sulla morte, e, con l’aiuto della sua grazia, poter anche noi superare ogni tentazione e prova e così crescere nel suo amore.]
Saludo cordialmente a los peregrinos de lengua española venidos de España y de Latinoamérica, en modo particular a los sacerdotes de la Diócesis de Cartagena, acompañados por su obispo, Mons. José Manuel Lorca Planes. Pidamos al Señor que aleje de nosotros todo tipo de tentación y que sepamos percibir su presencia a nuestro lado en todo momento de nuestra vida. Dios siempre nos acompaña y hace más ligero el peso de nuestra cruz. Que el Señor los bendiga.
Amados peregrinos de língua portuguesa, em particular os da diocese de Caratinga e das paróquias de Almada e de São Pedro da Cova, sede benvindos! A ressurreição de Cristo abriu a estrada para além da morte; temos a estrada desimpedida até ao Céu. Que nada vos impeça de viver e crescer na amizade do Pai Celeste, e testemunhar a todos a sua bondade e misericórdia! Sobre vós e vossas famílias desça, abundante, a sua Bênção.
[Cari pellegrini di lingua portoghese, in particolare quelli della diocesi di Caratinga e delle parrocchie di Almada e di São Pedro da Cova, benvenuti! La risurrezione di Cristo ha aperto la strada oltre la morte; abbiamo la strada libera fino al Cielo. Nulla possa impedirvi di vivere e crescere nell'amicizia del Padre celeste e di rendere testimonianza a tutti della sua bontà e misericordia! Su di voi e sulle vostre famiglie scenda, abbondante, la sua Benedizione.]
أُرحّبُ بالحجّاجِ الناطقينَ باللّغةِ العربيّة، وخاصةً بالقادمينَ من الشرق الأوسط. أيّها الإخوةُ والأخواتُ الأعزّاء، تذكّروا على الدوام أنَّ الله لا يتركنا وحدنا أبدًا في زمن التجربة العظيمة بل يسهر وينزل ليلتقي بنا في هاويتنا وفي المحن التي ترافق تاريخنا. ليبارككم الرب!
[I warmly welcome the Arabic-speaking pilgrims, especially those from the Middle East! Dear brothers and sisters, always remember that in the time of the supreme trial God does not leave us alone; He watches and goes down to find us in our abysses and in the travails that dot history. The Lord bless you!]
Witam serdecznie pielgrzymów polskich. Liturgiczne wspomnienie Świętego Józefa, rzemieślnika wprowadza nas w maryjny miesiąc maj. Podczas tradycyjnych nabożeństw majowych zwierzajcie Matce Bożej sprawy osobiste, rodzinne, waszych bliskich. Módlcie się za Kościół, Ojczyznę, o pokój w świecie. Niech Maryja, Królowa Polski, której Uroczystość przypada pojutrze, wspiera was i prowadzi. Niech będzie pochwalony Jezus Chrystus.

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Today marks the fifth centenary of the Canonization of St. Francis of Paola, Founder of the Order of Minims, Patron of Calabria and of the Italian People of the Sea. I would like to exhort his spiritual children and all those who have him as heavenly Patron, to put into practice his message of "continuous conversion", which still speaks to us today of unconditional love for God, for brothers and for creation.

I also remember that next Sunday the Day for the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart is celebrated in Italy. May this Athenaeum continue its service ever better for the formation of young people, in a constant dialogue between faith and the demands of the contemporary world.

* * *

I warmly welcome the Italian-speaking pilgrims.

I am pleased to welcome the Brothers of the Christian Schools and the Capuchin Friars.

I greet the parish groups, in particular those of Acilia, Caserta, Andria and Altino; the Pontinia Scout Group and the Ticinese Christian-Social Organization.

I am particularly interested in young people, the elderly, the sick and newlyweds. Today we celebrate the memory of St. Joseph the worker, patron of the universal Church. The figure of Saint Joseph, the humble worker of Nazareth, guides us towards Christ, supports the sacrifice of those who do good and intercede for those who have lost their jobs or cannot find it. We pray especially for those who have no work, which is a global tragedy of these times.
FULL TEXT + Image Share from Vatican.va - Unofficial Translation from Italian

Novena to St. Joseph - Miracle Prayer for Work and other Special Prayers



  NOVENA PRAYER FOR WORK
O glorious Saint Joseph, faithful follower of Jesus Christ, to you we raise our hearts and hands to ask your powerful intercession in obtaining from the compassionate heart of Jesus all the helps and graces necessary for our spiritual and temporal welfare, particularly the grace of a happy death, and the special grace for which we now ask.

(Mention your request)
O guardian of the Word Incarnate, we feel animated with confidence that your prayers for us will be graciously heard at the throne of God.
(The following is to be said seven times in honor of the seven joys and seven sorrows of Saint Joseph:)

O glorious Saint Joseph, through the love you bear for Jesus Christ, and for the glory of hs name, hear our prayers and grant our petitions.

This novena can be practiced at any time of year. Say this novena nine days in a row.
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OTHER PRAYERS TO ST. JOSEPH


Prayer to St. Joseph, The Worker

O Glorious, St. Joseph, model of all those who are devoted to labor, obtain for me the grace to work conscientiously, putting the call of duty above my natural inclinations, to work with gratitude and joy, in a spirit of penance for the remission of my sins, considering it an honor to employ and develop by means of labor the gifts received from God, to work with order, peace, moderation and patience, without ever shrinking from weariness and difficulties, to work above all with purity of intention and detachment from self, having always death before my eyes and the account that I must render of time lost, of talents wasted, of good omitted, of vain complacency in success, so fatal to the work of God. All for Jesus, all through Mary, after your example, O Patriarch, St. Joseph. Such shall be my watchword in life and in death. Amen. --Pope St. Pius X
  St. Joseph, today we honor you as Patron of Workers. We pray for the unemployed, underemployed, those who are working under stress and all those who labor daily. May you be our example of honorable work for God. St. Joseph and Brother Andre, hear our petitions (name them).

This prayer (To You, O Blessed Joseph) and the Litany of St. Joseph carries an indulgence...


To you, O blessed Joseph, do we come in our tribulation, and having implored the help of your most holy spouse, we confidently invoke your patronage also. Through that charity which bound you to the immaculate Virgin Mother of God and through the paternal love with which you embraced the Child Jesus, we humbly beg you graciously to regard the inheritance which Jesus Christ has purchased by his Blood, and with your power and strength to aid us in our necessities.
O most watchful Guardian of the Holy Family, defend the chosen children of Jesus Christ; O most loving father, ward off from us every contagion of error and corrupting influence; O our most mighty protector, be propitious to us and from heaven assist us in our struggle with the power of darkness; and, as once you rescued the Child Jesus from deadly peril, so now protect God's Holy Church from the snares of the enemy and from all adversity; shield, too, each one of us by your constant protection, so that, supported by your example and your aid, we may be able to live piously, to die holily, and to obtain eternal happiness in heaven. Amen. 



Litany of St. Joseph

Lord, have mercy on us. Christ have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us. Christ, hear us. Christ graciously hear us.
God the Father of Heaven, have mercy on us.
God, the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us.
God, the Holy Spirit, have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, One God, have mercy on us.

Holy Mary, pray for us.
St. Joseph, pray for us.
Illustrious son of David, etc.
Light of Patriarchs,
Spouse of the Mother of God,
Chaste guardian of the Virgin,
Foster Father of the Son of God,
Watchful defender of Christ,
Head of the Holy Family,
Joseph, most just,
Joseph, most chaste,
Joseph, most prudent,
Joseph, most valiant,
Joseph, most obedient,
Joseph, most faithful,
Mirror of patience,
Lover of poverty,
Model of workmen,
Glory of home life,
Guardian of virgins,
Pillar of families,
Solace of the afflicted,
Hope of the sick,
Patron of the dying,
Terror of demons,
Protector of the Holy Church, pray for us.

Lamb of God, Who takes away the sins of the world, spare us O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takes away the sins of the world, graciously hear us O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takes away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.

He made him the lord of His household, and prince over all His possessions.

Let us pray.

O God, who in thy ineffable Providence did vouchsafe to choose St. Joseph to be the spouse of Your most holy Mother, grant we beseech You, that he whom we venerate as our protector on earth may be our intercessor in Heaven. Who lives and reigns forever and ever. Amen.

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Why is May the Month of Mary - Free Resources - FAQ about #BlessedMary to Share!




USCCB: Mary As the Mother of God, the Virgin Mary has a unique position among the saints, indeed, among all creatures. She is exalted, yet still one of us
"Redeemed by reason of the merits of her Son and united to Him by a close and indissoluble tie, she is endowed with the high office and dignity of being the Mother of the Son of God, by which account she is also the beloved daughter of the Father and the temple of the Holy Spirit. Because of this gift of sublime grace she far surpasses all creatures, both in heaven and on earth. At the same time, however, because she belongs to the offspring of Adam she is one with all those who are to be saved." Mary embraces God's will and freely chooses to cooperate with God's grace, thereby fulfilling a crucial role in God's plan of salvation. Throughout the centuries, the Church has turned to the Blessed Virgin in order to come closer to Christ. Many forms of piety toward the Mother of God developed that help bring us closer to her Son. In these devotions to Mary, "while the Mother is honored, the Son, through whom all things have their being and in whom it has pleased the Father that all fullness should dwell, is rightly known, loved and glorified and . . . all His commands are observed." The Church honors her as the Mother of God, looks to her as a model of perfect discipleship, and asks for her prayers to God on our behalf.
May as a month of our Lady was strengthened especially by the Rosary Encyclicals of Leo XIII – beginning in 1883 and concluding in 1889, the Pontiff wrote twelve encyclicals and five apostolic letters on the Rosary. The Catholic Encyclopedia discusses the rather recent origin of Mary Month:
“The May devotion [to our Lady] in its present form originated at Rome where Father Latomia of the Roman College of the Society of Jesus, to counteract infidelity and immorality among the students, made a vow at the end of the eighteenth century to devote the month of May to Mary. From Rome the practice spread to the other Jesuit colleges and thence to nearly every Catholic church of the Latin rite (Albers, "Bluethenkranze", IV, 531 sq.). This practice is the oldest instance of a devotion extending over an entire month.” (Catholic Encyclopedia, “Special Devotions for Months”)
Mary Month – Why May?
There was an ancient tradition of connecting May with new life and fecundity, led to a realization that May is very much the month of motherhood – this may be the reason why Mother’s Day is celebrated during May .
Q.Do Catholics Adore Mary? 
Though English words like 'worship' and 'adoration' are occasionally used to signify only veneration, honor or affection, they are generally understood to refer to that highest type of worship reserved for God alone. In this sense, Catholics do NOT adore or worship Mary, or any other created person or thing. 
The Ecumenical Council held at Nicaea in 787 considered the issue of veneration which is not directed to the Divine persons in relation to sacred images. At this Council, the Church taught that the special type of worship called adoration may only be offered to God: Latria from the Greek term for enslavement. However, the Church also acknowledged that certain persons, though only creatures of God, are entitled to honor or veneration of a qualitatively lesser degree than the absolute allegiance owed to God. The Conciliar Fathers termed this lesser devotion:Dulia. Such veneration was proper for Mary and the Saints. In view of Mary's important role in salvation history as Mother of Jesus, the Church recognized that Mary warranted a special degree of honor among the Saints. For this class of devotion, St. Thomas Aquinas (d. 1274) suggested the term hyperdulia
No, Catholics do not worship Mary, if by worshiping is meant adoring. She is not God for us, has never been and will never be. Addressing prayer to Mary is like asking a dear and close friend for help. Do we make a God of our friend when asking him to keep us in his prayers? Do we divinize him/her when asking for his prayerful support in sickness and the trials of life? Believers on earth and in heaven constitute a living community which the major Christian denominations recognize as the communion of saints. The saints in heaven are not dead. Their Christian example of virtuous living and their closeness to God make of them powerful allies for us struggling mortals. They do not take God's place; they are an expression of his grace.
Likewise, there is nothing in Mary that would not have been in God and come from him. She is a pure product of God; this is the essential meaning of Mary's sinlessness. Never forget: if God wanted the exclusively direct relation between him and you and me he would never send Jesus Christ, the incarnate Son of God, never allow scripture to be the foundation of our faith, never encourage his Son to found the Church or institute the sacraments. Christianity is the religion of mediation, essential and foundational in Christ; participative and subordinate in his Church and in varying degrees in the believers. Source: udayton
Q.  Why do Catholics pray to Mary?

A. 1. A saying that is well known among Catholics is, "To Jesus, through Mary." This does not mean, "To Mary, through Jesus." Nor does it mean, "To Jesus and to Mary." This saying affirms that Catholics do not pray "to" Mary as an equal to God. They pray "through" Mary as an intercessor who prays to God on behalf of mankind.

If Catholics were to pray to Mary, this would imply that they are worshipping her as a god. But Catholics do not perceive Mary as a god. (i) They honour the Blessed Virgin Mary. (ii) The view Mary as the holiest of all the Saints. (iii) The accept the fact that Mary is the most successful Saint at obtaining Divine favours through her intercession.

Q.  Is there any Biblical support for the belief of Catholics to call upon Mary to intercede to God on their behalf?

A.  First of all, because Mary was the birth mother of the humanity of Jesus in who "the fullness of the deity (God) was pleased to dwell bodily," [Col. 1:19, 2:9] Catholics recognize the Virgin Mary as the Mother of God.

Secondly, because Mary was "favoured by God" [Lk. 1:30] when she was personally chosen by the Lord to become the mother of Jesus, God incarnated, Catholics believe that they have a greater chance of obtaining God's grace for their daily physical and spiritual needs by asking Mary to intercede on their behalf.

Thirdly, the above mentioned belief is partially based on the fact that Jesus is the King of kings and Mary, as the mother of the King, is the "queen mother." Then, when studying Jewish history, it is discovered that the institution of the "queen mother" was established during the reign of King Solomon.

In the Old Testament, we learn of the favoured position of the queen mother through the following words, "... then the king sat on his throne, and had a throne brought for the king's mother, and she sat on his right. Then she said, 'I have one small request to make of you, do not refuse me.' And the king said to her, 'Make your request, my mother, for I will not refuse you.'" [1 Kgs. 2:19-20]

Following the reign of King Solomon, many of the kings kept this practice. The mother of the king, through who the king received his throne, was trusted as a confident and advisor. So important was the function of the queen mothers in the days of the Old Testament that their names were listed in the succession records of the kings of Judah. [See 1 Kgs 14:21, 15:13; 2 Kgs. 12:1, 14:2, 15:2, etc...]

Similar to the intercession of the Queen Mother, when a child desires a favour and cannot obtain it from his/her parents, frequently the child will make the request to the grandparent to intercede on his/her behalf, therefore obtaining the favour that was being sought. This does not mean that the child is seeking the parental favour from the grandparent. Rather, the child is seeking the intercession of the grandparents before the parents.

Furthermore, Catholics do not differentiate between the living (in this world) and the dead (those who departed) members of the Body of Christ (the fullness of the Church.) The fullness of the mystical Body of Christ is found in the union of all the saints, past and present, here below and those above in Heaven.

In view of the aforementioned, it cannot be denied that those who were called to Heaven, including Mary, are still alive in spirit in the Kingdom of God that coexists with our world. As some non-Catholics pray through their deceased parents, grandparents or other biological relatives, asking these beloved departed persons to intercede before God on their behalf, Catholics pray through Mary to Jesus, taking advantage of her blessed position as the Mother of God.

This Catholic action affirms the prophetic and Divinely inspired passage that is found in the Holy Bible where it states, "Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed." [Lk. 1:47] All generations could not call Mary blessed if she was not actively involved in the progressive Divine Plan that continues to develop before our eyes.

Indeed, all generations have called the Blessed Virgin Mary blessed, including this one, because she has never stopped interceding on behalf of the world, her intercession obtaining endless miraculous cures and other favours. The role of Mary in the area of obtaining physical miraculous cures is well known and documented in Lourdes, France, this being only one of the many holy places where the grace of God has been manifested through the Virgin Mary at apparition sites. Source: Catholic Doors Ministry
Many popular devotional practices involve veneration of the saints. The saints have a special place in the Body of Christ, which includes both the living and the dead. Through Christ we on earth remain in communion both with the saints in heaven and with the dead who are still in Purgatory. We can pray for those in Purgatory and ask the saints to pray for us. Through their prayers of intercession, the saints in heaven play an integral role in the life of the Church on earth. "For after they have been received into their heavenly home and are present to the Lord, through Him and with Him and in Him they do not cease to intercede with the Father for us, showing forth the merits which they won on earth through the one Mediator between God and man." The saints, the members of the Church who have arrived at perfect union with Christ, join their wills to the will of God in praying for those in the Church who are still on their pilgrimage of faith.
Besides what the saints can do for us by their prayers, the very practice of venerating the saints does great good for those who are devoted to the saints. By practicing love of the saints we strengthen the unity of the entire Body of Christ in the Spirit. This in turn brings us all closer to Christ. "For just as Christian communion among wayfarers brings us closer to Christ, so our companionship with the saints joins us to Christ, from Whom as from its Fountain and Head issues every grace and the very life of the people of God." Love of the saints necessarily includes and leads to love of Christ and to love of the Holy Trinity. "For every genuine testimony of love shown by us to those in heaven, by its very nature tends toward and terminates in Christ who is the 'crown of all saints,' and through Him, in God Who is wonderful in his saints and is magnified in them."
—From Popular Devotional Practices

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Wednesday, May 5, 2019 - #Eucharist


Optional Memorial of Saint Joseph the Worker
Lectionary: 559
Reading 1 GN 1:26B-2:3
God said:
"Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.
Let them have dominion over the fish of the sea,
the birds of the air, and the cattle,
and over all the wild animals
and all the creatures that crawl on the ground."

God created man in his image;
in the divine image he created him;
male and female he created them.

God blessed them, saying:
"Be fertile and multiply;
fill the earth and subdue it.
Have dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air,
and all the living things that move on the earth."
God also said:
"See, I give you every seed-bearing plant all over the earth
and every tree that has seed-bearing fruit on it to be your food;
and to all the animals of the land, all the birds of the air,
and all the living creatures that crawl on the ground,
I give all the green plants for food."
And so it happened. 
God looked at everything he had made, and he found it very good.
Evening came, and morning followed–the sixth day.

Thus the heavens and the earth and all their array were completed.
Since on the seventh day God was finished with the work he had been doing,
God rested on the seventh day from all the work he had undertaken.
So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy,
because on it he rested from all the work he had done in creation.

OrCOL 3:14-15, 17, 23-24

Brothers and sisters:
Over all these things put on love, that is, the bond of perfection.
And let the peace of Christ control your hearts,
the peace into which you were also called in one Body.
And be thankful.
And whatever you do, in word or in deed,
do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus,
giving thanks to God the Father through him.
Whatever you do, do from the heart,
as for the Lord and not for men,
knowing that you will receive from the Lord
the due payment of the inheritance;
be slaves of the Lord Christ.

Responsorial PsalmPS 90:2, 3-4, 12-13, 14 AND 16

R.    (see 17b)  Lord, give success to the work of our hands.
or:
R.    Alleluia.
Before the mountains were begotten
and the earth and the world were brought forth,
from everlasting to everlasting you are God.
R.    Lord, give success to the work of our hands.
or:
R.    Alleluia.
You turn men back to dust,
saying, "Return, O children of men."
For a thousand years in your sight
are as yesterday, now that it is past,
or as a watch of the night.
R.    Lord, give success to the work of our hands.
or:
R.    Alleluia.
Teach us to number our days aright,
that we may gain wisdom of heart.
Return, O LORD! How long?
Have pity on your servants!
R.    Lord, give success to the work of our hands.
or:
R.    Alleluia.
Fill us at daybreak with your kindness,
that we may shout for joy and gladness all our days.
Let your work be seen by your servants
and your glory by their children.
R.    Lord, give success to the work of our hands.
or:
R.    Alleluia.

AlleluiaPS 68:20

R.    Alleluia, alleluia.
Blessed be the Lord day by day,
God, our salvation, who bears our burdens.
R.    Alleluia, alleluia.


GospelMT 13:54-58

Jesus came to his native place and taught the people in their synagogue.
They were astonished and said, 
"Where did this man get such wisdom and mighty deeds?
Is he not the carpenter's son?
Is not his mother named Mary
and his brothers James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas?
Are not his sisters all with us?
Where did this man get all this?"
And they took offense at him.
But Jesus said to them,
"A prophet is not without honor except in his native place
and in his own house."
And he did not work many mighty deeds there
because of their lack of faith.

Novena to Saint Peregrine - Miracle Prayer - Patron of #Cancer Patients



Novena To St. Peregrine 
 Glorious wonder-worker, St. Peregrine, you answered the divine call with a ready spirit, and forsook all the comforts of a life of ease and all the empty honors of the world to dedicate yourself to God in the Order of His holy Mother.  You labored manfully for the salvation of souls. In union with Jesus crucified, you endured painful sufferings with such patience as to deserve to be healed miraculously of an incurable cancer in your leg by a touch of His divine hand.  Obtain for me the grace to answer every call of God and to fulfill His will in all the events of life. Enkindle in my heart a consuming zeal for the salvation of all men. Deliver me from the infirmities that afflict my body (especially.....). Obtain for me also a perfect resignation to the sufferings it may please God to send me, so that, imitating our crucified Savior and His sorrowful Mother, I may merit eternal glory in heaven. St. Peregrine, pray for me and for all who invoke your aid. Prayer to Saint Peregrine O great St. Peregrine, you have been called "The Mighty," "The Wonder-Worker," because of the numerous miracles which you have obtained from God for those who have had recourse to you. For so many years you bore in your own flesh this cancerous disease that destroys the very fibre of our being, and who had recourse to the source of all grace when the power of man could do no more. You were favoured with the vision of Jesus coming down from His Cross to heal your affliction. Ask of God and Our Lady, the cure of the sick whom we entrust to you. (Pause here and silently recall the names of the sick for whom you are praying) Aided in this way by your powerful intercession, we shall sing to God, now and for all eternity, a song of gratitude for His great goodness and mercy. Amen.
(Say for 9 days - Say 1 Our Father, 1 Hail Mary and 1 Glory be each day)


A Prayer to St. Peregrine for Sick Relatives and Friends
St. Peregrine, as a humble Servant of Mary, you experienced human weakness and the pain and suffering of sickness. Knowing that medicine and human knowledge have limits, we pray for all those involved with the medical profession that they will be a true source of healing and comfort to all people. Like you, we also turn to God in our suffering. Just as Jesus reached out and touched you with His healing hand, we pray that the following sick person(s) will be strengthened in body and spirit and cured of his or her illness by Jesus Christ through your intercession.
(Here mention the name(s) of your sick relative or friend.)
In gratitude we pray for all people of the world that they will come to know you, St. Peregrine, and the love that God has for each of them. Amen.

10 Amazing St. Joseph Facts to Share that you might not Know! #StJoseph



1. May 1 is the feast of St. Joseph the worker. March 19 is known as St. Joseph Day, or the Solemnity of St. Joseph (if celebrated in Lent you can break the Fast)
 2.  In Europe the people dedicate an altar to him, also known as “St. Joseph’s Table” or “la tavola di San Giuseppe.” People decorate it with flowers, candles, wine and “lucky” foods..
3. According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, the Apocryphal Date for Joseph's birth is 90 BC in Bethlehem and the Apocryphal Date of his death is July 20, AD 18 in Nazareth.
4. The Church celebrates two feast days uniquely for Saint Joseph: March 19 for Joseph the Husband of Mary and May 1 for Joseph the Worker. In 1955 Pope Pius XII established the Feast of "St. Joseph the Worker" . This is also May Day (International Workers' Day) since he is the patron of workers.
5. Joseph has no recorded words in Scripture
6. Veneration of St. Joseph goes back at least to the 9th century An early title used to honor him was nutritor Domini, meaning “guardian of the Lord.”
 7.  He is the patron of the Universal Church, a happy death, families, unborn, fathers, expectant mothers, travelers, immigrants, craftsmen, engineers, and workers. He’s also the patron of the Sicily, Americas, Canada, China, Croatia, Mexico, Korea, Austria, Belgium, Peru, the Philippines and Vietnam.
 8. Josephology sub-disciplines of theology, in the 20th century did some people start to gather the Church’s insights about him. In the 1950s, three centers dedicated to the study of St. Joseph.
9. It’s tradition to wear red on St. Joseph’s Day.
10. He is mentioned in the Canon of the Mass.
“St. Joseph was chosen among all men, to be the protector and guardian of the Virgin Mother of God; the defender and foster-father of the Infant-God, and the only co-operator upon earth, the one confidant of the secret of God in the work of the redemption of mankind.” -- St. Bernard of Clairvaux